With every picture of the fossa, I get more and more confused. What exactly is it? A dog? A cat? A mongoose? Frustrated with vague-looking pictures, I turn to its scientific name for answers.
The genus is Cryptoprocta. This translates to “hidden anus,” named after the pouch that conceals its anus. Absolutely no help. Thank you science.
Recent studies have placed the fossa in the Eupleridae family, which would explain the mongoose traits, and why they are only found in Madagascar.
Animals in the Eupleridae family are thought to be descended from mongoose-like ancestors that populated Madagascar 20 million years ago.
What’s even more interesting, is their mating system. A female will sit high in a tree and watch all the males below compete amongst each other for her affections. Once satisfied, she climbs down and may mate with several suitors over the next week.
As soon as she steps down from the tree, a waiting female climbs up and repeats the process. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.